The Marion County Animal Shelter, managed by Paws to the Rescue (a registered 501c3 non-profit organization, is located in one of the poorest counties in South Carolina. This shelter takes in approximately 3,000 dogs per year and operates on an annual budget of approximately $53,000.
Located in an old tobacco barn, the average weekly operating costs are almost $7500 a week. It is, for all intents and purposes without heat. There is no centralized heat or air conditioning and the building is not insulated. There are heat lamps in certain areas but not all over. Money is also needed to pay for the gas to run the lamps.
February 7 is payday for the staff, and the money just isn't there to pay those who try so hard to save so many. They have treated many dogs without the funds to cover the vet bills, making this an even more difficult week. Their Facebook page tells of their desperation to raise the funds necessary to continue.
"We simply cannot house well over ONE HUNDRED dogs week after week after week without staff to care for them - food to feed them - meds to treat them, tiny rural shelter is stretched to capacity at this time. "
In addition to holding owner turn-in's and strays, the shelter must also must care for more than 40 animals as part of several court cases. As part of a county open shelter, they must house these dogs, as well as continue to take all others regardless of space and funds. They do not have the luxury of turning any animal away
The Marion shelter is also currently desperate for food and supplies for new rescues. Being in a rural location, it does not readily provide fosters or an abundance of volunteers but the ones they have are the most dedicated a shelter could hope for.
This mighty little shelter has been pushed to the max. With out an immediate influx of cash, over two dozen dogs will be put to sleep over the course of the next few days. The shelter simply cannot afford to care for the dogs without money, and are asking the community for help.
Before Paws to the Rescue (PTTR) got involved with the shelter in 2008, the kill rate was in excess of 95%! Since PTTR's involvement, the kill rate has dropped significantly but they are still in need of significant assistance if they are to achieve their objective of transforming the Marion County Animal Shelter into a no-kill facility.
Time is running out, and the staff will face many heartbreaking decisions this weekend unless you help. Please donate if you can, and share their situation with your animal loving friends.